Faced with a changing environment, public sector organizations need flexible equipment financing options to meet operational demands. Short-term rental agreements serve as a strategic mechanism for meeting sudden but temporary peaks in technology requirements.
For years, the public sector has marched steadily towards normalizing remote services and capabilities—such as distance learning and 1-to-1 computing. Gradually, education supply chains have risen to anticipate these demands with a new generation of devices and remote capabilities.
But global events can impact these supply chains as schools experience sudden spikes in technology requirements. These same organizations often don’t have the immediate capital assets to finance the requisite equipment; and because of the temporary nature of these crises, they don’t have the financial incentives to purchase large amounts of equipment abruptly, only to be stuck with those investments long term.
Public sector organizations need flexibility to access critical hardware during crises, without obligation to keep and continue paying for that equipment later. Fortunately, short-term rental financing options can help these organizations meet the immediate demands of students—during times that keep them away from normal visits to public facilities—and maintain business continuity as crises continue.
Distance learning is now a fixture in higher education, where students can acquire legitimate degrees without setting foot on a traditional college campus. But recent crises have put distance learning on the front lines of public education as a response mechanism to events that prevent grade-school students from attending class in person.
In early 2020, public schools had only a matter of days to convert practically all their young students into distance learners, most of them for the first time. Countless schools scrambled to supply students with take-home computers and tablets equipped with distance learning software so they could continue coursework and “attend” classes online.
Even as Canadian students began distance learning, Canada’s largest school board was in the process of gathering 28.000 iPads and Chromebooks to help students connect to course materials. But although this move was essential, its financing raises questions about the cost to taxpayers—not to mention the lifespan of the technologies, which can become outdated in a matter of years.
Schools that adopt a short-term rental strategy don’t need to be concerned about these issues. Leading options maintain that the sum of the rental costs will not only be less than the capital cost of the devices; organizations have the flexibility to upgrade their equipment or simply return it at the end of their term. The temporary, fixed payment options available are typically less per month than traditional financing options, allowing for improved budgetary and planning certainty. Schools needn’t worry about failing their students with insufficient technology assets during a crisis, either.
Short-term rental financing options can help these organizations meet the immediate demands of students—and maintain business continuity as crises continue.
Even as public sector institutions face down the crises of today, they must begin planning for the next one. More importantly, trends shaped by these crises will impact the operational norms of public sector industries long term. Higher learning institutions are already normalizing fully online classes—evolving preferences among grade school students and faculty may lead to permanent remote-learning features as well. As patients turn to telemedicine as a convenient, cost-effective alternative to in-person visits, caregivers may increasingly use 1-to-1 devices as a standard function of regular care.
Short-term equipment rentals are a strategic mechanism that puts these organizations ahead of the curve on operational, budgetary, and disaster preparedness. With the latest innovations at their disposal, public sector organizations can provide the public with the best-in-class services available, no matter the circumstances.